Francoeur on old field with new team
"Now the one team you're never supposed to like, you're on," Francoeur said of the Mets before Thursday night's game against his former Atlanta Braves teammates.
The Braves traded Francoeur to the Mets for Ryan Church on Friday in an exchange of right fielders.
"From talking with Bobby, there's a lot of left-handers in this division, and he did tell me I'm going to be playing against a lot of them," Church said.
"He's not going to get any complaints from me. I'm here to be a piece of the puzzle. I'll show up every day and expect to be in the lineup, and if not come off the bench."
Church's attitude has already impressed Cox.
"He's a gamer," Cox said. "I've heard that and now I see it all over him."
Francoeur said Cox deserves some credit for his 4-for-9 start in his first two games with the Mets. Francoeur said he received some late tips from Cox on Friday morning in Colorado before the trade was announced.
"Bobby helped me make some adjustments," Francoeur said. "We watched some film that morning."
Cox and Mets manager Jerry Manuel talked during batting practice on Thursday.
"We just hope he gets back to the 100 RBI days he had in Atlanta," said Manuel of Francoeur, who was hitting .250 with five homers and 35 RBIs at the time of the trade.
Each player said he is still adjusting to the trade. Church described the last few days as "a whirlwind" as he looked for a new home in Atlanta during the All-Star break.
Francoeur called the trade "surreal" but said he may benefit by playing away from Atlanta.
"I think I'll be able to concentrate a lot more on baseball," said Francoeur, referring to the pressure of trying to satisfy his hometown fans.
"It's a great opportunity. It's a huge stage in New York," he said.
"It kind of felt refreshing to get up there and get away [from Atlanta]."
Francoeur said his former longtime roommate and friend from Gwinnett County in metro Atlanta, Braves catcher Brian McCann, "is the one guy I'm really going to miss."
NOTETim Hudson moved closer to his return from elbow ligament-replacement surgery by throwing batting practice. He said the session was his last before beginning his minor league rehabilitation on Sunday. "It went well," Hudson said. "That's it, I'm ready to go on Sunday." Cox said Hudson likely will need to pitch in "at least six" minor league games.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press